The first full month of the Ontario Hockey League season is complete and it’s time for a look at our first rankings following our initial pre-season rankings.
These rankings include players eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft for the first time. Players passed over in previous drafts are not included. This is also the first ranking that includes players from Europe selected in the Canadian Hockey League’s Import Draft and those making the jump from the United States.
Today, we’ll look at the top 5 goaltenders available from the Ontario Hockey League. Tomorrow we’ll begin looking at the top 20 skaters beginning with those from number 20 to number 11 followed on Monday with those ranked from number 10 to number 1.
We’ve also included the player’s statistics as of October 31, 2012 along with their height, weight, home town and where we ranked them in the pre-season. In almost all the cases NR (not ranked) is usually a player coming from Europe or the US.
Here are the top 5 goaltenders:
5. Charlie Graham – Belleville Bulls
Previous Rank: 3
Date of Birth: June 30, 1995
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Stats: 1-1-0, 2.40 GAA, .920 SV%
As expected, playing behind 2012 NHL first round pick Malcolm Subban, starts for Graham are going to be few and far between. But once he got that first start, he came in with a bang posting a shutout. It’s going to be tough to maintain his status on the charts but if and when Malcolm Subban goes off to tend goal for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships, Graham will get his chance to shine and prove that he belongs on this list of five.
4. Jordan DeKort – Windsor Spitfires
Previous Rank: 4
Date of Birth: August 8, 1995
Hometown: Markham, Ontario
Stats: 0-2-2. 2.94 GAA, .913 SV%
Although DeKort is third in both goals against average and save percentage among draft eligible goalies, his first victory of the season has eluded him and that may be more due to a somewhat struggling Windsor Spitfire team than his own performance.
At six foot four inches, DeKort has the size. Positionally, he’s as strong as any of the draft eligible goaltenders. He’s good when challenging shooters but could improve his rebound control. DeKort oozes potential and continued quality starts will give him the opportunity to hone his skills.
3. Michael Giugovaz – Peterborough Petes
Previous Rank: Not ranked
Date of Birth: May 8. 1995
Hometown: Brampton, Ontario
Stats: 4-2-2, 3.39 GAA, .912 SV%
Every year someone comes out of nowhere and steels the spotlight but it’s not that often it’s a goaltender. And this year it could just be Giugovaz. He wasn’t on the radar coming into the season in the top 5 but his performance on a team that struggled early on has him taking starts away from fourth year veteran Andrew D’Agostini. Giugovaz has faced more rubber than any other draft eligible goaltender and only Spencer Martin of the Mississauga Steelheads has more starts.
Giugovaz exudes confidence. He does whatever he needs to in order to get in front of shots. Plays the butterfly extremely well and makes himself look big in the net. He has good lateral movement and is athletic. He needs to work on his rebound control, definitely a player to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
2. Alex Fotinos – Barrie Colts
Previous Rank: 2
Date of Birth: January 2, 1995
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Stats: 1-2-0, 3.91 GAA, .892 SV%
This rank is still all about potential with Fotinos. Playing time is limited behind veteran Mathias Niederberger, but the raw potential is visible. His stats may not look all that impressive, but in junior hockey they rarely are for goaltenders.
Fotinos is an aggressive goalie whether it’s challenging shooters or in a mad scramble in his crease. He moves well in his crease, controls his rebounds adequately, and is one of the calmest goaltenders you’ll find under pressure and it seems to rub off on his teammates. It’s all about continuing the developmental curve with Fotinos and here’s to hoping he’ll get more of an opportunity to show how his development is coming along.
1. Spencer Martin – Mississauga Steelheads
Previous Rank: 1
Date of Birth: June 8, 1995
Hometown: Oakville, Ontario
Stats: 8-1-1, 2.00 GAA .938 SV%
The Mississauga Steelheads are off to a very good start and part of the reason is the netminding of Spencer Martin. He leads all draft eligible goaltenders in games played, minutes, wins, goals against average and save percentage. In fact, his goals against and save percentage are second in the entire league only to Owen Sound’s Jordan Binnington.
Spencer came into the season as our number ranked goaltender and has done nothing short of solidifying that position. A big goalie that controls his rebounds, anticipates very well, is athletic and likes to challenge the shooters, only time will tell if he can maintain his early season success.